Our Unique Method
Before the day arrives that you come pick up your puppy from our kennel, a lot has happened. What seems like a very long wait for you, with time passing way too slowly despite all the daily photo and video updates we post on social media - it always means a race against time for us, with so little time to give the puppies all the skills and life lessons that we want to give them.
While in many kennels, the pregnancy, birth, weaning and rearing of the pups is largly left up to the mother dog, you can be sure that at "Of the Kochi Castle" kennel, we put in constant thoughts and considerations into every tiny aspect of these processes. Mom and her pups receive the best care and maximum support 24/7 - literally. Because we understand that for the puppies, these powerful first weeks can shape the rest of their lives.
Selecting Future Owners
We love all of our puppies dearly from the moment they are born. And although they are in our hearts forever, we know that they cannot stay with us. That's why we want to make sure - way before they are born - that there is a wonderful and loving home with capable owners waiting for each of them to care for them from puppyhood, through puberty, and into their olden days.
Through extensive conversations (and, admittedly, some gut feeling) we aim to find out whether you have researched the breed beyond its looks, have gathered sufficient information and considered the possible disadvantages. To be honest: we will basically try to talk it out of your head, untill we are convinced that you really know what you're getting into - just to make sure that you won't regret it later, at the expense of my puppy's happiness.
How We Raise Our Puppies
We could write a book about this (and perhaps we should). Over the years, our approach has taken shape in a densely packed puppy programme, based on a sparkly golden mixture of first-hand experiences and scientifically proven research.
It's hard to explain all the things that we do, when we do it, how and why - without sounding off like a complete dog lunatic, or without boring you to bits because it's not going to be a quick read. Simply put, every day of every week, we offer them new physical and mental stimuli that are suitable to their respective developmental stages.
Life-long benefits of our approach may include:
greater tolerance to stress & faster adrenal system (quick recovery from stress)
stronger heart rate & stronger heartbeat (potentially improving athleticism & longevity)
better impulse control (less jumping up on people, lower prey drive, better recall)
being able to better cope with frustrations (lowering the biggest motivation for agression)
no more food agression or resource guarding (another motivation for agression)
softer mouths (eg. no unintentional "alligator biting", and thus less miscommunication with persons, or other dogs and pets who could otherwise consequently respond with agression)
reduced risk of gastric dilatation volvulus (aka stomach torsion)
increased propriocepsis (body awareness) resulting in a lesser likelihood to have under-developed neuromusculature in the hindquarters that can eventually cause sprains, injuries, weakness or lameness.
It's not "just" extensive socialisation - it's also habituation, enrichment, communication, crate training, potty training, and much more. Potty training? Yes! After ENS (early neurological stimulation) it is just about the first thing that we teach them. Kochi Castle puppy owners can confirm that our puppies are already keeping their area clean before they leave our home, to the best of their abilities!
Truth be told: nothing and no one is flawless. Things don't always turn out the same way for all the dogs or the way it was expected at all. Luckily, dogs are never too old to learn, and the same goes for us. We aim to improve our unique method with every new litter, because we are never done reflecting on results and learning from professionals.
A Bright & Guided Future
If it would be in any way manageable, we would keep all of our puppies. Evidently though, a Tosa can only thrive when being adopted in a loving and capable home, ideally since the malleable age of 7 to 9 weeks. They require a lot of individual attention - Quality time is of the essence.
That's why we're tremendously grateful to those whom we can pass the baton onto. New owners really do become a part of the Kochi Castle family! Like any good granny, we love to receive tons of photos and videos (we should make that a requirement!) and we love to hear about their antics. But raising a puppy is not always fun and games.
That's why we will try our best to assist and advice you wherever needed. After raising eleven Tosas and saying goodbye to four of them, we've certainly had our share of sorrow. Sometimes, what might be new, scary or challenging for you, might be solved or made easier thanks to our vast knowledge, network and experience.
Life goes on and we're all busy, but I'll never forget my puppies! Despite our best intentions, it's impossible to protect you from all future worries. It's also impossible for us to keep in touch with everyone all the time - People come to us to find a four-legged friend, not a two-legged one. However! No matter how big or petty your concern, no matter how long we did not exchange phone calls or messages, no matter the age of your dog - We really need you to remember three things:
1) We assume that YOU set the pace in your desired intensity of contact with us.
2) If ANY concerns or questions should arise, we are ALWAYS willing to help!
3) We expect that you DON'T WAIT OUT until our advice can't be taken into consideration.
That's what makes our after-care unique: It's for life... and beyond!
" Puppyhood. The scariest hood you'll ever go through. "